Unlocking the Power of Pine Bark: Top Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark for Your Health

Fact Checked By Dr B Lee

‍French Maritime Pine bark often seen promoted as Pycnogenol (a branded version, which has had several clinical trials run on it) has been used in medicine long before we had a branded version of the supplement.

Dating as far back as Hippocrates, there have been claims on its ability to help as pain relief. [1]

In more recent times, pine bark has gained attention for its potential as a natural remedy for a variety of health concerns. Researchers have been exploring the numerous benefits of pine bark extract, particularly its antioxidant properties, [2] which can help combat oxidative stress and promote overall well-being.

Generally, it tends to appear most often in brain boosters and joint supplements. Although it does seem to be a lot better for the former than the latter.

Understanding Pine Bark Extract: Pinus Pinaster

Pine bark extract is derived from the bark of the maritime pine tree (Pinus pinaster), which is native to the Mediterranean region. This particular species of pine tree has been found to have a unique composition of bioactive compounds called proanthocyanidins, [3] which are responsible for many of the health benefits of pine bark extract.

These proanthocyanidins are a type of flavonoid, a group of plant-based antioxidants that have been shown to provide numerous health benefits.

In the case of pine bark extract, the most compelling research has suggested that these powerful antioxidants can help protect against a range of ailments, from cardiovascular disease to cognitive decline. [4]

Top Benefits of Maritime Pine Bark Extract for Health

a. Antioxidant Properties

One of the primary benefits of pine bark extract is its potent antioxidant properties. The proanthocyanidins found in pine bark extract are capable of neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to aging, inflammation, and various diseases. By combating oxidative stress, pine bark extract can help promote overall health and well-being. [5]

b. Cardiovascular Health

Pine bark extract has been found to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of pine bark extract can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and prevent the formation of blood clots. [6,7] Other studies have further investigated the cardiovascular benefits of pine bark extract, including its ability to improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. For example a study published in the journal Hypertension found that participants who took pine bark extract experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure compared to a placebo group. [8]

c. Cognitive Function

Research suggests that pine bark extract may also have potential benefits for cognitive function. The antioxidants found in pine bark extract can help protect neurons from oxidative stress, which is thought to contribute to cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. By supporting brain health, pine bark extract may help improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive function. [9]

As we mentioned the best maritime bark research has explored the potential cognitive benefits of pine bark extract. A study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation found that pine bark extract helped protect neurons from oxidative stress, suggesting that it may help prevent cognitive decline and support overall brain health. [10]

d. Skin Health

Pine bark extract has been found to offer benefits for skin health as well. The antioxidants in pine bark extract can help protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation, pollution, and other environmental factors. Additionally, pine bark extract has been shown to boost collagen production, which can help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. This makes pine bark extract a popular ingredient in many skincare products and supplements. [11]

e. Joint Health

Joint health is another area where pine bark extract has demonstrated potential benefits. The anti-inflammatory properties of pine bark extract can help reduce joint pain and inflammation, making it a potentially useful supplement for individuals with arthritis or other joint-related conditions. [12]

Furthermore, studies have suggested that pine bark extract may help slow the progression of osteoarthritis by protecting cartilage from degradation. [13]  However, there are relatively limited studies to suggest this, and most of them have been conducted by a company that sells maritime tree bark, Pycnogenol.

f. Immune System Support

Pine bark extract has also been found to have immune-boosting properties. The antioxidants in pine bark extract can help strengthen the immune system by protecting against harmful pathogens and reducing inflammation. This can help improve overall immune function and reduce the risk of infections and illness. [14]

Choosing the Right Pine Bark Supplement: French Maritime Pine Bark vs. Others

When selecting a pine bark supplement, it is essential to choose a product that contains high-quality, standardized pine bark extract.

French maritime pine bark is considered to be one of the best sources of pine bark extract, as it has a unique composition of proanthocyanidins that provide numerous health benefits.

Look for supplements that contain French maritime pine bark extract and are standardized to contain a specific percentage of proanthocyanidins, as this ensures that you are receiving a consistent and effective dose.

French Maritime Pine Bark Dosage

The most commonly studied version of maritime pine bark, Pycnogenol, tends to be standardized to 65-75% Procyanidin and dosed at between 100-200mg a day.

Generally, the recommended dosage of maritime tree bark is 150mg split over two to three servings per day. With a content of at least 65% Procyanidin. [15]

Some studies have shown that it can be effective at lower dosages (40-60mg) over a prolonged period, however, the results suggest that the higher dosage is better.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Pine bark extract is generally considered to be safe for most individuals when taken in appropriate amounts. However, some people may experience side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, or gastrointestinal discomfort. If you experience any adverse reactions while taking pine bark extract, it is essential to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Additionally, individuals who are pregnant, nursing, or taking medication should consult with a healthcare professional before using pine bark extract, as it may interact with certain medications or have unknown effects on pregnancy and lactation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pine Bark Benefits

Is maritime pine bark extract safe for everyone? Pine bark extract is generally considered safe for most individuals when taken in appropriate amounts. However, some people may experience side effects or have specific health concerns that warrant caution. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including pine bark extract.

How long does it take to see the benefits of pine bark extract? The length of time it takes to notice the benefits of pine bark extract can vary depending on the individual and the specific health concern being addressed. Some people may notice improvements in a matter of weeks, while others may take several months to experience the full benefits of pine bark extract. Consistency and patience are key when using pine bark extract as a natural health remedy.

Can I take pine bark extract in combination with other supplements? In general, pine bark extract can be taken in combination with other supplements. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that there are no potential interactions or contraindications between pine bark extract and the other supplements you are taking.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Pine Bark Extract Benefits

There does seem to be reasonable scientific backing to support some of the claims around French Maritime Pine Bark’s benefits.

From its potent antioxidant properties to its potential for improving cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and more, pine bark extract is a valuable natural remedy that can help promote overall well-being. Generally speaking, the evidence to support it’s use as a brain heath supplement is pretty good, as is it’s evidence for improving blood flow. Whilst there is one or two positive trials for Osteoarthritis, these were not of particularly high quality so we wouldn’t currently rate it highly as a joint supplement.

About Fact Checker Dr B Lee

Dr B Lee Dr Lee is a member of Center TRT's research team, he has more than 200 scientific publications, and has been a member of the global obesity center. With more than 20 years experience in health, focusing on wholistic treatment, lifestyle and dietary changes to improve health outcomes on a regional and nationwide level. View profile


1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5775113/

2 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11996210/

3 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019584/

4 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8548611/

5 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6619435/

6 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6077626/

7 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203267/

8 - https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/fulltext/2009/01000/antihypertensive_effect_of_french_maritime_pine.17.aspx 

9 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203267/

10 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8347023/

11 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426262/

12 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18570266/

13 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21908949/

14 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8094515/

15 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26492562/

16 - https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1019.html

Popular Posts

What Are The Best Fat Burners of 2023

Read More

What Are The Best Testosterone Boosters of 2023

Read More